As we reported last month, Singapore Airlines has reopened its lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2. This is a welcome relief for anyone travelling on a long-haul Star Alliance flight. These primarily depart from the satellite Terminal 2B and – until Singapore Airlines reopened – it had no functioning lounges.
HfP reader Callum was passing through and put together this review for us. It also appears on his personal travel blog here where you will find additional photographs.
Over to Callum:
“Finally, almost 10 months since last being open, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 is back in business.
Prior to its reopening, the only operational lounge has been Lufthansa’s in the A gates section of the airport (as Rhys reviewed a couple of days ago) – which is an average and underwhelming lounge to visit. Despite not being the best lounge in Terminal 2, the Singapore Airlines lounge is a definite step up.
Getting in won’t be easy …..
Although I personally welcome the stringent entry requirements, they are clearly out of step with both UK and European regulations. To enter the lounge, you require:
- A Covid-19 PCR test issued within 72 hours of flight departure. Singapore (the country and the airline) requires a Covid-19 PCR test issued within 48 hours of your flight so you will be fine to visit if you are taking one of SIA’s scheduled London departures.
- Temperature check at the entrance – although this is not strictly enforced
- Face masks must be worn when not eating or drinking, in line with UK Covid regulation specific to aviation environments
They also asked to see our Covid vaccination status, in my case the UK National Health Service (NHS) Covid Pass, although this is not mandatory for access.
The primary issue for most travellers departing for Europe with Star Alliance partners is that you probably haven’t taken a PCR test. This means that you will not be able to visit the SIA lounge. It will be interesting to see where this goes as the world opens up. Other airlines, such as Air Canada and Saudia, are currently using the SIA lounge so I assume their passengers must need a Covid-19 PCR test for their destination.
Who can access the Singapore Airlines lounge?
Lounge access has not changed since prior to the pandemic. The following passengers are able to access the lounge:
- SIA and Star Alliance Business Class passengers
- SIA and Star Alliance First Class passengers
- Star Alliance Gold status holders
- Virgin Flying Club Gold status holders, if flying Singapore Airlines
As noted previously, other airlines such as Saudia are currently using the SIA lounge under contract as Terminal 4, home to SkyTeam, is being using for “Red List” arrivals. There is no definitive list available of non-Star Alliance airlines that are using this lounge.
The lounge is open between 06:00 and 22:00 every day of the week. The Singapore Airlines website says that the First Class lounge, which is separate, is open from 06:00 to 11:00, although it appeared to be closed on the day I was there.
How is the lounge ambience?
I always find that this lounge has a great atmosphere.
Although I prefer Cathay Pacific’s lounge design, the Singapore Airlines design, dubbed “home away from home” , still looks fantastic and gives a really clear South East Asian aesthetic to visitors.
The lounge has a good range of seating options available whether you are looking to lounge around, get some work done or grab a bite to eat.
I particularly liked these solo seating areas with a spacious table to work at which are seemingly inspired by the design of Singapore Airlines’ First Class suites:
Seated tables are available for dining but they are severely restricted in number:
Bar style seating completes the options for seating and there is plenty of it – these are located at both the bar and along the corridor from the entrance:
Social distancing is in place at the lounge, despite not being required by UK law, but the implementation is a little patchy. Large notices are placed on the more relaxed chairs but then there was none in the dining area – this seems to make little sense, as you’re more likely to wear a mask when at the relaxed chairs versus dining area.
Charging and Wi-Fi
Disappointingly there were no functioning charging points throughout the lounge:
I initially thought it was just a problem with where I was at, before I realised that there were no working plugs anywhere. If you are here in the next few days, be sure to charge up your device before visiting or carry a power bank to stay topped up.
Wi-Fi was average in the lounge. It was serviceable but slow at times, particularly when I attempted to upload an article with images to my website.
Food and beverages
Compared to the Lufthansa lounge, Singapore Airlines excels in its food and beverage offering. We visited at breakfast time on a Sunday and the menu options were excellent.
On my visit, the hot food buffet area was serviced by two attendants who took your order and then returned with it on a tray to take to your table. You didn’t plate your own meal.
This was fair enough, but some items like croissants and pastries, as well as most drinks, were self-serve as you can see below. This didn’t make a lot of sense.
Since my visit, Singapore Airlines has copied British Airways and launched at-table ordering, accessed via a QR code. This is what you will get if you visit the lounge in the coming weeks.
Here is an extract from the menu:
The food itself was tasty, the Nasi Lemak was flavourful and similar to Malaysian restaurant standard in London. The pastries were of good quality and fresh whilst the coffee was the standard middle-of-the-road auto-machine brewed.
Other drinks on offer included wine, beer and soft drinks – although I certainly didn’t want any of this at 06:30. For cocktails and mixers, a server was available behind the bar to produce them after 08:00 until closing time. To be honest, I would have preferred a barista rather than a cocktail maker to be on duty at 08:00.
The second drinks station in the lounge was off-limits – not due to Covid-19 but more likely due to electrical failure. This may be why the electrical outlets did not work at the seating areas.
I will note here, as an aside, that all the staff in the lounge were excellent – very helpful, quick to clean and personable too.
The showers are currently out of action due to Covid-19.
I suspect that this is to save money, since it will require a dedicated attendant, as opposed to actual infection control. It will hopefully be back in action when passenger numbers on SIA’s flagship route increases.
The toilets were clean but certainly nothing special. Toiletries were poor – a barely legible brand of moisturiser, which had clearly been refilled many times, and generic soap in dispensers. I would have expected a tie-up with a premium brand.
Toothpaste and toothbrushes are available on request, although they were out of stock of combs and razors.
No physical magazines are available in the lounge, which has sadly become commonplace across all airlines. Guests are instead advised to download the Singapore Airlines app to access digital magazines. The selection on here was limited when compared to PressReader which is used by a number of other airlines.
How busy was the lounge?
When we entered, just after 06:30, the lounge was empty – and perfect for taking pictures. By the time we left, around 09:00, it was getting very busy due to a number of departing long-haul flights.
With social distancing measures in place, almost all the relaxed seating was used and dining tables occupied. Speaking to lounge staff, the lounge is remaining busy for pretty much the rest of the day.
Hopefully Air Canada and United Club will reopen their lounges as flights ramp up. This should relieve pressure on the Singapore Airlines lounge and provide a slightly more relaxing experience.
Is the Singapore Airlines lounge at Heathrow worth a visit?
Yes. As things currently stand, Singapore Airlines has the best lounge currently open in Terminal 2, and the only lounge open in the Terminal 2B satellite.
Providing you meet their stringent entry requirements, take a walk across to this excellent lounge for a more relaxing experience. If your flight departs from the main building, it is a 15 minute walk in each direction (no shuttle train, unlike Terminal 5) so you need to factor this into your plans.
The only thing I want to say is please get rid of the “It’s a great way to fly” music – it is awful. I’d certainly prefer if they played their safety video music (links to YouTube) on repeat instead!”
Thanks Callum. You can find out more about the lounge – and check the latest opening hours and covid restrictions – on this page of the Singapore Airlines website.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (November 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.